Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/93

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The War and the Future

"No, no answer. Acknowledge." The servant saluted and went back with the acknowledgment, hopping through the barrage as though perhaps it were a little wet, but not worth putting on a mackintosh for.

There is another story told of a General (during an attack in the Battle of the Somme) who could not learn how far his division had gone. It was a matter of the most intense anxiety to him. He sent out messengers who never returned, the telephone wires were cut as fast as they were laid, and no pigeons came back. He stood beside the pigeon-loft biting his finger nails. Then at last, out of the battle, came a solitary pigeon, and the General cried: "There she is, there she is. Now we shall know." The pigeon came circling out of the smoke, and came down to the pigeon-loft and went in. The General said, "Go in, man, go in, and get the message!" So the pigeon fancier went into the loft and was gone rather a long time, and the General cried: "Read it out, man, read it out. What do they say?" The man replied, "I'd rather not read it aloud, sir." The General said: "Bring it here, man." The General took the message and read it, and the message ran: "I'm not go-